Alter Your Life
Once again, it is an honor to present the morning lesson at our center. I was going to speak on another topic. However, I purchased a book at the bargain bookstore in Columbus by 20 th century New Thought minister and author Dr. Emmet Fox titled Alter Your Life. For those of you who are not familiar with Emmet Fox, he was a Divine Science minister and spoke to thousands every Sunday at New York's Church of the Healing Christ for many years. Fox's secretary was the mother of one of the men who worked with Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, and partly as a result of this connection early AA groups often went to hear Fox. His writing, especially "The Sermon on the Mount," became popular in AA and was the first Big Book of that organization. Dr. Fox's forgiveness prayer is included in the real Big Book of AA titled “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Then another thing happened on the way to this morning's lesson. Pam Winkler did a survey of our members and asked them to suggest topics for our Sunday morning gatherings. Well, the one that caught my eye was “How to REALLY change your life.” This morning, I have some good news and some not so good news. What do you want to hear first? The not so good news is that what you are about to hear is nothing new that most of you haven't heard before. The good news is that my intent for this morning's lesson is that you will put to use what you all ready know to really change your life. And maybe, there will be some distinctions given this morning that will assist you in REALLY changing your life.
From Emmet Fox's book, he writes, “There is no need to be unhappy. There is in need to be sad. There is no need to be disappointed, or oppressed, or aggrieved. There is no need for illness or failure or discouragement. There is no necessity for anything but success, good health, prosperity, and an abounding interest and joy in life.”
“That the lives of many people are full of dreary things is unfortunately only too true; but there is no necessity for them to be there. They are there only because their victims suppose them to be inevitable not because they are so. As long as you accept a negative condition at its own validation, so song will you remain in bondage to it; but you only to assert your birthright as a free man or woman and you will be free.”
“Success and happiness are the natural conditions of mankind. It is actually easier for us to demonstrate these things than the reverse. Bad habits of thinking and acting may obscure this fact for a time, just as a wrong way of walking or sitting, or holding a pen or a musical instrument may seem to be easier than the proper way, because we have accustomed ourselves to it; but the proper way is the easier nevertheless.”
“Unhappiness, frustration, poverty, loneliness are really bad habits (of thought) that their victims have become accustomed to bear with more or less fortitude, believing that there is no way out, whereas there is a way; and that way is simply to acquire good habits of mind instead of bad ones- habits of working with the Law instead of against it.”
“Refuse to tolerate anything less than harmony. You can have prosperity no matter what your present circumstances may be. You can have health and physical fitness. You can have a happy and joyous life. You can have a good home of your own. You can have congenial friends and comrades. You can have a full, free, joyous life, independent and untrammeled. You can become your own master or your own mistress. But to do this you must definitely seize the rudder of your own destiny and steer boldly and firmly for the port that you intend to make.”
To really change our lives, we must really change our thinking first. But Michael, I hear this every Sunday. You are right, you hear this almost every Sunday. However, for the conditions to change in our lives, you must change the direction that you have given to the Creative Medium or the Law. Subjective Impersonal Mind or “the Law” is called is the “soil of the universe” and will create what ever we plant into it. The problem has been that others have planted much of the stuff in our subjective atmosphere and we have unconsciously believed whatever it was. Some common “weeds” are “I'm not lovable, I'm not enough, You won't make it because you are a woman, fat, black, white, purple polka doted, etc.” The reason our lives have not changed is because we have not taken conscious control of our thinking and changed it around to what we want in our lives instead of what we don't want. Streaton Smith from the 4T Prosperity program says that the reason our lives have not changed is because we have not changed our minds and kept the change. It is time to plow the field and take charge of our lives by being deliberate creators; that is planting and focusing on what we want in our lives, instead of what we don't want.
Dr. Fox wrote, “Man has dominion over all things when he knows the Law of Being and obeys it. The law gives you power to bring any condition into your life that is not harmful. The Law gives you power to overcome your own weaknesses and faults of character, no matter how often you may have failed in the past or how tenacious they may have seemed to be. The Law gives you power to attain prosperity and position without infringing the rights and opportunities of anyone else in the world. The Law gives you Freedom; freedom of soul, and body and environment.”
Again as you change your thinking to the Truth, capital T about you and keep the change (Dr. Holmes calls it embodiment.) that your outer conditions change. If you want the outer conditions of your life to change, you must first change the thinking that caused it in the first place. That is why Paul in his teaching to the various churches of his time to “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” and “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” We are always creating through our consciousness or the combination of our thoughts and feelings. However, most of our thinking is centered in hell rather than in heaven. We are thinking about how our jobs are lousy, how our boss is a so-and-so, how we wish our husband, wife or kids would act differently! We think about how we have more month than money. Our thinking is based on what is happening on the outside or the conditions in your life. So, based on the teachings of the Science of Mind and Spirit, if we want better outside conditions, we must put a new cause in motion consciously. Dr. Ernest Holmes from the SOM text (pg. 403) says this. “Thoughts of lack manifest as limitation. Thoughts of abundance manifest as success and happiness. Failure and success are but two ends of one stick. All conditions and every circumstance is of the nature of effects and can in no way limit Mind unless we take them as a fresh starting point for a creative pattern. The thought that any given condition is a thing of itself tends to make it appear to be a thing of itself. Reverse the thought and the condition tends to reverse.” Holmes on pg. 123 also says, “To learn how to think is to learn how to live. Man, by thinking, can bring into his experience whatever he desires if he thinks correctly. This is not done by holding thoughts, but by knowing the Truth. There is a vast difference which too few realize.” As pointed out several months ago when Darice was here, we must have a daily experience of our desires by feeling them real in our imagination. How do we do that?
Dr. Fox says to do this. “Take stock of your life this very day. Sit down quietly by yourself and write down the three things that you most wish for in life. Be quite frank about this. Write down the things you really wish for, not thinks that you think you out to wish for. Be specific, not vague. Then write down underneath three things or conditions that you which to remove from your life. Again, be definite and specific, and not vague.” We are to be specific on what we want to give direction to the great Law. We are not to be specific on HOW it is going to manifest. How it's done is the Law's job not ours. Again, if you want money, plant money and abundance thoughts. If you want employment, plant employment thoughts. Get the picture? As Rev. Ike says, “You have to get definite with the Infinite” for the great Law of life to work in your favor. From the book of Job, the Bible says, “Command you me.”
So, let me ask you the question. What do you really want? This question is a hard one for most to answer right off the bat. I will ask that question during a private practitioner session and get a blank stare as an answer. So let me ask you, what do you really want in the areas of wealth, health, love and creative self-expression (or career)? The sad part is that most of us won't allow ourselves to have our wants because of our beliefs of “it's unspiritual to have what I really want”. The spiritual guideline taught by Ernest Holmes is to have what we want as long as it helps everyone, especially yourself and harms no one. The root word of the word desire is “of the Father”. We are reminded that it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. So allow yourself to have what you want! The other major block is our fear of “how is it going to happen” or ‘what will others think'? Hey, how your desire is to manifest is God's job, not yours! Just remain open to God-ideas on how you are to play a part in the co-creation of your desire. The next part of this step is to write your desires on paper. The answer to the question why is to help you get clear about what you really want in your life. New Thought Christianity has for years taught a 3-column system of prayer. Divide up a piece of paper into 3 columns with the first column being your list of don't wants. The second column is where you put down the spiritual truth about the condition you are experiencing. If you put down you have more month than money, the spiritual truth is that God is Unlimited Abundance. Holmes taught that the characteristics of God were love, life, wisdom, intelligence, peace, creativity, beauty and joy. Dr. Wayne Dyer taught in his book, The Power of Intention the characteristics of Spirit are creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansive, unlimited abundance and receptive. Your third column is then an affirmative statement about the spiritual truth of the situation you are experiencing. The switch around for “I have more month than money” could be “God is unlimited abundance and that abundance is mine now” Now, see all your bills paid in full and feel as if you had the money to pay them! Remember that when you get clear about what you really want in life and have it internally first, it will show up! We live in a reflective universe governed by the Impersonal Law. As shown in the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1 there had to be a command of “let there be light” before there was light. The Universal Law creates anything put into It, including our fears and disbeliefs .
Dr. Fox continues, “Now having got your six points in front of you, work on each on separately for a few minutes with all the spiritual and metaphysical knowledge that you possess. Remember, it is not really very important how much of this knowledge you have so long as you make use of all that you do have. It is a spiritual law that to use 90 percent of a small amount of knowledge is more practically effective than to use only say 50 percent of a large amount. Repeat this treatment every day for a month, without missing a single day, and by the end of that time it will be very unusual if a really striking change for the better has not manifested itself in your condition.”
“For those unfamiliar with spiritual (mind) treatment, a simple but quite effective method of working is this: Claim gently but definitely that the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe is bringing each of the first three things into your life in Its own way, in Its own time, and in Its own form. Then claim that the same Great Power is dissolving each of the latter three, also in Its own way. Do not try to dictate the exact form in which the new conditions shall come about. Do not be tense or vehement. Do not let anyone else know that you are doing this. Do not look impatiently every day for results, but make your treatment, and forget it until the next day. And in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
So what do we do the rest of the day between treatments? Again, most of us are not conscious of what we are thinking. From my author friend Sandy Taylor in her book “Quantum Success” she wrote,
“Do you ever stop to notice what you're thinking about? How often do you really consider the consequences of your choices before you make them? There are many people who are clueless about why they do what they do-or even what it means. They move through whole decades at a time, reacting out of some unconscious and largely unconsidered approach to life. These are what I call the “consciousness zombies,” trudging through life day after day in an unaware state. They follow their habits and react out of emotion, doing what's required and not much more. But if this sounds like your own approach in the past, don't worry. You have the power to awaken from the ranks of the undead. You can choose a different, higher and brighter consciousness and move on to a better life than you've ever experienced-perhaps even better than you've ever dreamed of. Consciousness is always a choice. It's the choice to bring your awareness to the present moment, the decision to see and prioritize that which is truly important, that which is genuinely honoring and value, enhancing in your life. Your constant question must be: “What am I focusing my consciousness on now?” And the question that follows is: “What might this consciousness be creating for me?” Couldn't have said it any better myself.
The good news is that you don't have to monitor every thought. From the teaching of Abraham, Esther Hicks said instead to pay attention to how you are feeling! If the tendency of your consciousness is positive, you will feel good feelings like joy, peace, love and gratitude. However if you are feeling not so good, it is because your consciousness has been dwelling in hate, fear, anger and blame, just to name a few of yucky feeling. So, get into the habit of checking in with your self several times a day just to see how you are feeling. Our feelings are largely governed by our cognitive thinking or self-talk. So by being conscious of what you are feeling, you can alter how you are thinking. You are not enslaved by your feelings, unless you choose to be so.
So here are some suggestions on how to change your life taken from “Shortcut to a Miracle” and some of my own.
• Begin to monitor your thoughts and speech in order to weed out negative thinking, including those thoughts and words that you might not think of as negative or as having much effect on your life. Watch what you are saying! We need to need to speak only that which we want in our lives. I heard a popular Bible teacher say that when you speak it, you birth it. Why? The reason is that your spoken word, fueled by emotion is planted into the Creative Law and will result in a manifestation. From Proverbs 18:21 we read, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Death and life! That is why we as truth teachers encourage our students to speak their treatments and affirmations out loud and feel them as already manifested in the material world. Your spoken word is very powerful! From the Bible, Jesus said from Mark 11:23, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” That is why spoken prayer is so powerful. Also belief is very important too. If you haven't received your million dollars yet, it's because you haven't felt it real and believed it within you. I always suggest everyone gives themselves a raise by taking the amount of money you are currently receiving and raising it several hundreds or thousands of dollars. Example: If you are receiving $2500/month income, give yourself a raise by saying “I give thanks for my prosperous income of $5000/month easily and effortlessly. DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN HOW IT IS TO HAPPEN. HOW IS GOD'S JOB! Your part is to receive and have the money in consciousness. The how part will reveal itself to you.
• Consciously develop positive thought patterns about everything in your life (yourself, your world, your future, your family and friends-and especially your miracle).
• Unearth and transform the type of negative thinking (e.g., guilt, worry, envy, resentment, fear, the past, etc.) that blocks the flow of good in your world.
• Daily turn your will and life over into God's hands and ask to be guided and directed in your thinking. “Let that mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”
• Think about what you want only and let your thoughts be on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
• Be willing to release any negative thought or belief that comes up and replace it immediately with that which you want.
• Live in the attitude of gratitude everyday. Think about all the good in your life instead of all the bad. Think about how many times that God made a way out of no way. Think about how many blessings you have right now!
• Do daily SMT and direct your subconscious consciously. Treat until you get results.
To conclude, I would like to quote Dr. Ernest Holmes from the Science of Mind text, pg. 47 where he says, “A treatment is a statement in the Law, embodying the concrete idea of our desires and accompanied by an unqualified faith that the Law works for us as we work with It. Let us waste no further time looking for the secret of success or the key to happiness. Already the door is open and whosoever will may enter.” Once again, you have been given enough Science of Mind to be dangerous. Are you willing to give this teaching a chance to change your life? All the successful change therapies are all based around change your thinking, change your life. Give this teaching a chance. If you do change your thinking and keep the change, you will change your life.
"Our Prayers are fulfilled through rising to the challenge we are experiencing such that our faith is kindled from a spark of inchoate desire to a mighty flame of faith through our inner transformation such that we are answer we have been seeking" ~ Dana Allen